HARRISBURG PA – Finally, according to The Pennsylvania Independent online news service, there’s a real budget proposal available from the General Assembly.
After shuffling around a shell bill that served simply as a vehicle for the state’s 2014-15 spending plan, Republicans on the House Appropriations Committee on Tuesday (July 24, 2014) sent a more detailed, $29.1 billion budget proposal to the chamber’s floor, Independent reporter Andrew Staub wrote.
The committee approved the proposal in a party-line vote — 21-14 — after more than two hours of debate. Lawmakers have until Monday (June 30) to meet their deadline to pass a budget, so the House could vote on the budget bill soon. With that in mind, here are three take-aways from the plan:
- The House is counting on more than $380 million in revenue next year by starting to phase out Pennsylvania’s monopolization of liquor stores. That’s far from a done deal.
- Big concerns remain, particularly among Democrats, over education funding. They charge Gov. Tom Corbett’s hopes for a $100 million won’t be enough.
- There’s no tax increase called for, but there are millions in one-time transfers. That means they can’t and won’t be duplicated in future budgets, possibly creating a later deficit.